Vantage celebrates its 40th anniversary this year!
Unravel fascinating Southeast Asia’s histories on Vantage Deluxe World Travel’s exploration of five nations — Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore — and discover how this region’s fabric of cultures and religions intertwine.
With 24 included features and Cultural Discoveries, you’ll get a firsthand experience of life in this part of the world. Step into one of the largest tin mines in the world in Kuantan, bask on the postcard-perfect beaches of Koh Samui, venture deeper into Vietnam’s past at Ho Chi Minh City and Hue, and visit 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including mythical Halong Bay. Plus, a special overnight excursion to Phnom Penh gives you added insight into the “Pearl of Asia,” from the turbulent Khmer Rouge years to its present-day rise as Cambodia’s economic center.
Best of all, you’ll be cruising on the Ocean Odyssey — a 5-star sanctuary complete with onboard spa, bespoke dining options, enriching lectures, and the services of our onboard Concierge — which will berth at our destinations’ ports. The small size of our vessel gives our travelers access to exclusive ports, less queuing, and more time to spend onshore in each destination. And with fewer travelers onboard, you’ll have more impactful interactions and Cultural Discoveries with locals, Tour Directors, lecturers, and more. With extensions to Siem Reap & Angkor Wat or Chiang Mai, Thailand, you can maximize your time in this captivating region and take home more unforgettable memories.
Chiang Mai isn’t merely the hub of northern Thailand. As the capital of the ancient Lanna kingdom and located at the center of the region’s history and culture, Chiang Mai’s city center still sits ensconced within walls and a moat. While here, you’ll tour the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Thailand. You’ll also attend a traditional Khantoke dinner, and perhaps contemplate the serene pace of life here. This is your opportunity to deepen your knowledge of Thailand while making the most of your time in Southeast Asia!
Board an overnight flight to Hanoi
Today you’ll board an overnight flight to Hanoi. Or, depart earlier for your pre-trip extension to Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Cross the International Date Line
You’ll cross the International Date Line today, meaning that you’ll arrive in Hanoi on Day 3.
Arrive in Hanoi
Welcome to Vietnam! If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport and assist with the transfer to your hotel. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to acclimate before a welcome briefing later today.
Discover Hanoi’s charming highlights
Today, explore Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi and discover its amalgam of French colonial mansions, tree-lined avenues, and traditional Vietnamese architecture that was known as the “Paris of the East.” Your tour begins with a stop at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and a visit to the Presidential Palace of Vietnam, one of the grandest examples of the city’s French Colonial architecture. You’ll also be able to see the One Pillar Pagoda, a Buddhist temple remarkably perched on a single stone pillar, and the Temple of Literature, built in 1070 and home to Vietnam’s first national university.
After a vegetarian lunch at a local monastery, head back to your centrally located hotel and unwind before attending an exclusive water puppetry show — a traditional form of entertainment that originated in the rice paddies of Vietnam.
Ride a trishaw through Hanoi’s Old City, and embark the Ocean Odyssey
Enjoy your morning at leisure before exploring Hanoi’s historical city center — the Old Quarter — with a trishaw tour this afternoon. The Old Quarter is known for its “36 streets of 36 wares,” where 13th-century artisan guilds built their specialized workshops. You’ll wind through a maze of fascinating back streets lined with narrow houses known as “tunnel” or “tube” houses, built that way so owners could avoid paying taxes based on the width of their street frontage. Lunch is included at a local Vietnamese restaurant, with amazing views of distant Hoan Kiem Lake.
Then, it’s time to embark the Ocean Odyssey! After settling in, take some time to explore the ship and its amenities. Take a walk around the sun deck or meet your Destination Manager to arrange a spa appointment, then convene in the dining room for your first dinner on board — one of many memorable meals on this journey!
Cruise idyllic Halong Bay
Behold the nearly 2,000 jutting limestone outcrops of Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose mystique has inspired artists for centuries. Legend says that its emerald pinnacles are the humps of a sea dragon’s back. Your tour takes place on board a small, private boat that will glide you through the silent channels and hidden lagoons. As you cruise, you’ll see an entire city on boats, including a bank, bar, shops, and houseboats. Waving children, mothers hanging laundry, old men mending their fishing nets . . . here is where the everyday life of traditional Vietnam reveals itself.
Discover central Vietnam with a tour of Hue
Enjoy breakfast on board as your ship docks at the port of Chan May, your gateway to central Vietnam.
Today, you’ll enjoy a fascinating full-day tour of Hue, where you can delve into the history of this former imperial capital of Vietnam’s Nguyen dynasty and home to the UNESCO-listed Complex of Hue Monuments. Step back in time in the Royal Citadel and its sprawling Imperial City, with its ancient palaces, gardens, and temples. Then, stop at Chua Thien Mu, or the Pagoda of the Celestial Lady, and admire its iconic seven-story pagoda. After lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll return to the ship.
Enjoy your evening at leisure, with dinner on board.
Unwind while cruising the South China Sea
Enjoy a free day as your ship continues toward your next destination. Perhaps you’ll indulge in some spa treatment or meet friends for drinks in the lounge. But that’s just the start!
Then, learn about the transformation of Vietnam when a Resident Lecturer presents a lecture on Vietnam, Past & Present.
Experience old Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City
Take your time over breakfast and relax as we sail into Nha Rong, the port for Ho Chi Minh City. Once known as Saigon, the city is Vietnam’s business and financial hub.
Upon arrival this morning, you'll visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, a neo-Romanesque, red brick edifice with twin spires topped with iron. It was constructed around 1888 with materials imported from France. Across the way, the classic 1960s exterior of the Reunification Palace may seem familiar to you. It was here that the first Communist tanks rolled into town and the building was prominently on the news when South Vietnam fell in 1975. On the other side of the square admire the Central Post Office, completed in 1891. With its barrel-vaulted central hall and pale pink façade, it seems just too pretty to be relegated to mail! Also featured are the restored exteriors of the Saigon Opera House and the elegant City Hall (the former Hotel de Ville), two of Saigon’s most stunning French colonial monuments.
This evening, enjoy dinner on board.
Explore more of Ho Chi Minh City
We’ve left this morning free so you can pursue your own interests here in Saigon. Perhaps you’ll nibble on exotic street food at the Ben Tranh Market, where your choices range from savory spring rolls to skewers of tarantulas and everything in between! Step back in time at the War Remnants Museum, or admire the masterworks at the Fine Arts Museum. Your onboard Destination Manager can assist with all your plans. You'll enjoy lunch on board before the Ocean Odyssey departs Ho Chi Minh City, bound for Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Tonight, enjoy the Captain’s Gala Reception and Dinner.
Enjoy a day of leisure at sea
Relax with a day at sea or enjoy your ship’s resort amenities. Perhaps you’ll join a morning stretching class, read on your balcony, or catnap on the sun deck. Then, join friends for cocktails in the multilevel lounge, browse the boutique, or attend a lecture by a local historian. Later in the day, your Cruise Director will present a port talk.
During your time on the Ocean Odyssey, there will be an ongoing schedule of enrichment programs.
Today, you'll be joined on board by an expert lecturer who will walk you through the fascinating history of Cambodia.
Cruise to Sihanoukville; overnight excursion in Phnom Penh
Today you’ll disembark the ship and travel inland by motorcoach to the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, staying overnight at an elegant 5-star hotel. Once known as the “Pearl of Asia,” Phnom Penh nestles on the banks of the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers and was renowned as one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina. After surviving the destructions of the Khmer Rouge regime, it is once again a vibrant, youthful capital.
Spend a sobering but important half day learning about the turbulent Khmer Rouge years as you visit sites related to the infamous “Killing Fields” on a guided tour. Tuol Sleng, a high school turned interrogation prison known as S-21, is now a genocide museum. You’ll also call at Choeung Ek, a large memorial commemorating the 17,000 victims who died there under the reign of Pol Pot. While disturbing, these somber relics also provide an appreciation for the courageous struggles that Cambodian people have faced.
This evening during dinner, you’ll enjoy a traditional Apsara Dance Show with beautifully-costumed performers.
Tour Phnom Penh and return to ship in Sihanoukville
After checking out of your hotel, you’ll transfer to Phnom Penh by coach for some more city touring, beginning with the Royal Palace, home to the present King Norodom Sihamoni. Opened in 1870, it now contains the Royal Residence, Throne Hall, Silver Pagoda, and other historic buildings. The Silver Pagoda (Wat Preah Keo Morokat) is named for its more than 5,000 silver floor tiles. The building is a repository of cultural treasures, such as the famous Emerald Buddha, and a life-sized gold Buddha adorned with 2,086 diamonds.
At the National Museum, admire a collection of Khmer art that includes more than 5,000 objects, such as statues and other artifacts from Angkor Wat. Then, you’ll get around Phnom Penh as the locals do, riding past the elegant Post Office, Central Market, and Public Library on board a bicycle-powered carriage called cyclo.
Back in Sihanoukville and on board the Ocean Odyssey, you’ll enjoy another memorable dining experience and a relaxing evening at leisure.
Admire local culture in Koh Samui, Thailand’s romantic beach paradise
Relax on board as your ship plows through the turquoise waters around Koh Samui. After lunch, get ready for a cultural tour by minivan that will whisk you around the island!
Your exploration starts at Wat Khunaram, where the mummified body of a monk named Luang Pho Daeng sits in a meditative pose, looking very much alive. Stop for refreshments at the impressive Na Muang waterfall, which cascades 59 feet into a sparkling natural pool below. You’ll pass the unusual Grandma and Grandpa rock formations, then continue to Ladd Koh for panoramic views of famed Chaweng Beach. See the golden Buddha at Wat Phra Yai, who sits on hill and is nearly 50 feet tall. Heading back to the ship you’ll pass many stands selling handicrafts such as batiks and products made from seashells and coconuts. Time pending, you might stop at a local market in Nathon to browse the beachwear and other Koh Samui specialties. This evening, enjoy an off board dinner with a traditional Thai dance performance.
Enjoy a free day in Koh Samui
Take advantage of your free time to savor another day in this seaside heaven. Koh Samui is a foodie favorite, so ask your onboard Vantage Concierge for recommendations. Perhaps you’ll just relax on a secluded beach or indulge in a Thai massage.
Relax on board with a day at sea
Enjoy a full day at sea to relax and enjoy the luxurious amenities of the brand-new Ocean Odyssey. Pamper your body with a relaxing massage, a facial or a soothing soak in the hot tub. Or, stimulate your mind with a lecture on Malaysia or a great book borrowed from our library. The choice is yours!
Tonight, enjoy an onboard Spring Festival, complete with snacks and party favors!
Discover Kuantan, Malaysia
After breakfast onboard, we'll disembark to explore the capital of Pahang province, Kuantan. The city is popular for its excellent beaches, but our touring will concentrate on some of the more interesting cultural and historical attractions.
Your exploration begins in Sungai Lembing, an old tin mining town that was once known as the “El Dorado of the East” because of the wealth it generated. During their peak at the turn of the century, these were among the world’s longest and deepest mines, and you’ll have the chance to peer into them. You’ll also visit the Sungai Lembing Museum, which displays many old photographs and mining equipment. Back in Kuantan, you’ll see its main sights, such as the imposing Masjid Sultan Ahmad Shah mosque and Teluk Chempedak Beach.
The Kuantan region is famous for its beautiful, intricate batik prints that adorn clothing and many other decorative objects.
Disembark the Ocean Odyssey and discover Singapore’s cultural diversity
Disembark the Ocean Odyssey in Singapore today and bid farewell to your floating hotel. Known by many names, the "Garden City" and the "Lion City" among them, and you’ll get insight into these monikers as you explore Singapore’s beauty and dynamism today. During your full-day guided city tour, you’ll see the historic Parliament House, Supreme Court, City Hall, and Merlion Park — featuring impressive views of Marina Bay and the city’s futuristic architecture. Then, delve a little deeper into Singapore’s diverse culture during visits to the Thian Hock Keng Temple, Little India, and the Yong Gallery, which displays handcrafted woodcarvings and artworks by Chinese artists.
After a visit to the 161-year-old, UNESCO-listed Singapore Botanic Gardens, you’ll sample Singapore’s flavorful Chinese influence during a dim sum lunch at a local restaurant. Dim sum literally means “touch the heart,” and perhaps yours will be filled by some fluffy, pork-filled bao buns; mouthwatering shumai dumplings, savory shrimp cheung fan rolls, and more. Then, board a traditional bumboat for a cruise down the Singapore River, where you can marvel at the city’s iconic skyline from the water. Following your cruise, we’ll drive through Little India. This colorful and aromatic district is a feast for the senses, and you’ll have time to explore before returning to your hotel.
Take in Singapore’s lush views
After breakfast, you'll depart for a half-day city tour, featuring sweeping views of Singapore from the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck, and a visit to the awe-inspiring Gardens by the Bay nature park. Lunch will be included at a local restaurant during the tour.
Tonight, toast to your discoveries with your fellow travelers during a Farewell Dinner at the hotel.
After breakfast, you’ll transfer to the airport for your return flight home. Or, if you’re joining our post-trip extension to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat!
Please note: Arrive to your destination rested and refreshed! Convenient gateway city stopover options mean you can break up longer flights easily — just ask our Flight Experts for assistance.
Maximize your time in Southeast Asia with this immersive Cambodian extension that unveils dazzling Angkor Wat — one of the world’s largest temple complexes. You’ll fly to Siem Reap, the gateway city to this sprawling UNESCO-listed compound, where you’ll discover the former seat of the Khmer kingdom on a two-day exploration. Plus, get a feel for local life with visits to a local dance school and silk farm, and even learn traditional skills like palm weaving when you interact with local villagers! Don’t miss your chance to discover one of Southeast Asia’s most important temples on this compact extension filled with cultural marvels, both ancient and contemporary.
Please note: Ocean-cruising is not the same experience as river cruising; as such, you may experience fluctuating tides and weather patterns that may involve some rocking of your vessel. Itineraries will include all activities as planned except in extreme cases that can’t be controlled by your shipboard crew. The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Cruise Director or regional expert.